We have been traveling since yesterday (I think? Seriously the time change between Iowa and Hawaii + a red eye flight + daylight saving is killing me) and I’m so tired that I can’t even count how many hours I’ve been awake, but I’ve been so excited to share some of our Hawaii trip that I just had to get started on at least part one! This was our sixth time visiting the Big Island, our second time bringing Elle, and Emma’s first time. We had so much fun when we brought Elle two years ago at just four months old but bringing her at two was just so much more amazing. It’s really something magical getting to experience this with a toddler. I can’t wait to (hopefully) continue to bring her and Emma and continue to make these wonderful memories!
I have so much that I want to share that I’m going to have to break these up into a few parts. My hope is that I can help those wanting to plan a trip to the Big Island, but I really want to make this post as a memory for me. So if they’re long and drawn out, I’m sorry! We spent two weeks on The Big Island and I’m mostly going to share some pics (I have almost 800 to choose from!), talk about what I wore, what we did and where we ate. We have done so many amazing things in Hawaii (pre-kids) but the past couple times have been a lot of relaxing and going to the pool. Which I’m totally okay with because that’s what vacation is all about! At the end of the last post I will link some excursions we have done in the past, and will hopefully do again in the future once the kiddos get older!
We arrived at the Big Island on Saturday and we. were. BEAT from traveling. Elle barely slept on the plane and I think by the time we got to Hawaii she had been up for 18 or 19 hours, with maybe a half hour nap in there somewhere. She had also had barely anything to eat except dum dums and applesauce pouches. So we grabbed a Kahlua pork and pineapple pizza from the bistro at our resort and went back to the room and mowed down then went to bed. Honestly it kind of worked out because the girls went to bed around their normal time (7-8PM Hawaii time which was 11PM-12AM Iowa time!) but it helped get them adjusted the rest of the week.
We stayed at Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations Club which is a really nice resort in Waikoloa Village. My mother-in-law owns a timeshare there so that’s where we always stay. We had a three bedroom condo so there was plenty of space for all of us. Lucky little Elle got her own room! The resort has awesome pools, an open air bar and bistro with live music every night and a free luau on Thursdays. They also have tons of stuff for kids to do in their Keiki Club. Since we stayed there we were also able to go over to the Hilton hotel and use their pools and lagoon, which Elle was obsessed with!
Travel day! Elle and Emma in the airport before heading to Hawaii. Both girls did really well on the plane, except the last two hours from Phoenix to Hawaii Elle started to get a little crazy due to not being on a normal schedule. However considering that, she did pretty well, and I plan to make a post about my experience and what worked for us traveling with a toddler!
On Sunday morning we had breakfast at the bistro and went for a little walk around the resort. Then we came back to our condo and put the girls down for a nap and relaxed on the lanai. It was so nice to just sit outside and unwind after such a long day of travel. That night we decided to head over to one of our faves, Lava Lava Beach Club, which is right on the beach. We had pupus (appetizers) and some drinks and watched the sunset. Elle loved playing in the sand and listening to the live music, and it was Emma’s first time seeing the ocean!
Breakfast at the bistro. ￼
Elle getting ready to take a nap in her big bed and Emma relaxing on the lanai.
Lava Lava Beach Club Elle did not like touching the sand which I was okay with because then she wouldn’t run away from me!
Pupus, drinks, and fun in the sand while waiting for the sunset.
Sunset from Lava Lava Beach Club! #nofilter
On Monday we had breakfast at the bistro again (seriously, their buffet is SO good!) and then decided to have a pool day with the girls. I was nervous that Elle would not like the pool… so much so that I wanted to get her into swimming lessons before we left, but they didn’t have a time slot that worked for us. The resort has a beach-like kiddie pool that was only ankle-knee deep and Elle LOVED it! She was such a natural swimming around and she had a permanent smile on her face! Emma also loved floating around in the pool with Nana! After the pool we skipped Elle’s nap and drove to Kona to do some shopping and stopped by another one of our faves, On The Rocks. We had good food and a great view of the ocean but it was here that we learned that skipping Elle’s nap was not a good idea. I spent most of the lunch trying to calm her down in the parking lot. Our condo had a kitchen so we stopped by Walmart and Costco in Kona to get some groceries for the week on our way back.
Fun at the kiddie pool at Kings’ Land!
Lunch in Kona with our toes in the sand… Elle skipped nap and was not happy! Emma got lunch in the car.
Since we finally picked up some groceries, I made breakfast while everyone else went for a walk. In Hawaii they have guava bread which is a sweet, pink loaf of bread that makes amazing french toast. So we had guava french toast and mimosas made with guava orange nectar before going out for another pool day! After the pool and naps we went to the Queens’ Marketplace to let Elle feed the koi fish then came back to the open air bar for some live music, pupus and drinks!
Having some cuddle time on the lanai after breakfast and before another pool day!
Nana, Emma, Elle and Brian in one of the many pools at Kings’ Land.
Snacks and shade next to the pool.
Feeding the koi fish at Queens’ Marketplace.
Listening to live music at the bar at Kings’ Land. Elle got a nap after the pool so she was in a much better mood! And look at those curls!
On Wednesday we went over to the Hilton Waikoloa Village hotel where we met a parrot, saw some dolphins and swam in the lagoon. The lagoon is a beach-like area where you can swim with real fish, rent water toys and see actual sea turtles! This was by far Elle’s favorite place to go! After the lagoon we had lunch at Boat Landing Cantina where we shared some pork tacos and fish tacos. Then we took a boat ride back around the hotel grounds. We pushed Elle’s nap again that day and both girls desperately needed baths, so we gave them baths, made dinner at the condo and relaxed for the rest of the night.
My girls! I’ve never seen Elle’s hair so curly!
Meeting the parrot at Hilton Waikoloa Village, I wish I could remember his name! He was very pretty!
Elle and Brian looking at dolphins at the Hilton.
Fun at the lagoon!
Cover up (old), similar here | sunglasses | Elle’s swimsuit | Elle’s hat | Elle’s water shoes | Elle’s puddle jumper | Brian’s UPF shirt | Brian’s sunglasses | Brian’s hat available at Costco, similar here
Lunch at Boat Landing Cantina at Hilton Waikoloa Village and a boat ride to follow.
I think this is a good stopping point for now! Wow, we crammed a lot into this trip, and I feel like there was so much more that I wanted to do! Check back for part two and part three and as always, thanks for reading! XO – S